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January 5, 2013

Roby to return for junior season

Follow Noon | Givler | Axelrod | Birmingham

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- After picking up two linebacker commitments in as many days, the good news keeps on rolling in for Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer this weekend.

Cornerback Bradley Roby, a 2012 second team All-American, revealed on Saturday night that he will be returning to Columbus for his junior season with the Buckeyes. Three years removed from high school, Roby was eligible to enter the 2013 NFL Draft.

Roby confirmed the news in a text to BuckeyeGrove.com.

A first team All-Big Ten selection by both the coaches and conference media in 2012, Roby led the nation in passes defended with a 1.73 per game average and 19 total. The 5-foot-11, 190-pound corner was projected by NFL Draft analysts to be a second round pick who had the chance to work his way into the draft's first round, should he have chosen to forego his junior season.

After enduring a 6-7 season in 2011, Roby was a key player on Meyer's first Ohio State team, which earned a 12-0 record but was ineligible to play in any postseason games. As the Suwannee, Ga. native emerged as one of the country's top defensive backs last year, he admitted that finally having a chance to play for a national championship could entice him to return to Columbus in 2013.

"A national championship next year would definitely be a good incentive, a good reason to come back," Roby said. "Who wouldn't want to play for a national championship? That's definitely a good goal for our team, and maybe next year we can get there."

A wide receiver in high school, next season will give Roby at least another season of experience primarily playing cornerback before he enters the draft. Having witnessed his top player's growth over the past year, OSU cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs said that there's still room for Roby to get better.

"Even just to look at the progress he's made, certainly, from March until November, but even from September to November gives you an indication of how good he can be," Coombs said. "I still think he has things he wants to accomplish, and I don't think the least of those things is being a part of a team that has a chance to play for a national championship."

In addition to the 19 passes he defended (17 breakups, two interceptions) Roby recorded 63 tackles and one sack in 11 games in 2012. He scored three touchdowns, all in a variety of ways, including an interception return, a fumble recovery, and by falling on a botched punt snap.

Having redshirted in 2010, Roby has two years of eligibility remaining in his college career.



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